Agnese Cornelio

Agnese Cornelio (Italy, 1978) comes from a theatre practice that intertwines fiction and documentary work. As director she realised performances based on contemporary plays as well as documentary theatre projects for German and Italian speaking theatres and for international festivals.

As a researcher her work focuses on the crossovers between film and performance on the topic of work, Her research was shown at Het Theaterfestival 2010 ”k zie, ik zie wat jij niet ziet",  at the festival Burning Ice 2011 - Kaai Theatre and at the IFFR 2015 with the Installative performance [Working title]

She studied communication sciences and theatre direction and attended the training a.pass in artistic research and the MA in Film at the Netherlands Film Academie. The ongoing project free to work, developed as Master Project was awarded with the AHK Eindwerkprijs 2014, and supported by the AfK 3/Package-Deal in 2015.

The performing body of the worker between presence and memory

“In the cinema, a society that has lost its gestures seeks to reappropriate who it has lost while simultaneously recording that loss.”
Giorgio Agamben, Notes on gesture.

Free to work is an ongoing research project about the relation between the individual and his work, focusing on the physical memory of the body and his consequent capability to recall their past by reenacting it within a different context and in a different time.
The project focused on the organisation of work and on the transformation from material to immaterial labour. The narrative behind this gesture reveals that the representation of work has transformed from a primarily physical performance into a cognitive, immaterial act.

As a researcher, I’ve sought to display work as a performance, and I have found that working gestures remain inscribed onto the body of workers, much like the way a performance is inscribed onto the physical memory of actors. As documentary film maker I see my characters as embodiment of their own archive and as their director, I ask my interviewees to rehearse tasks and to improvise when they feel secure in their performances, taking freedom in their work.

My proposal for “Third!” concerns a transmediale research, between performance and film, about the montage of this material, to research editing system through performative etudes, thus questioning the reaction of the working body to the moment when immaterial labour entered the industrial working system.


IFFR 2015

about previous research